LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville now has two new officials who's goal is to promote resilience and equality within the city.
Friday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher announced that Eric Friedlander would be Louisville Metro's Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) and that Kellie Watson will be the city's Chief Equity Officer.
The CRO's role is to lead the city's efforts in preparing for, withstanding, and bouncing back from chronic stresses and acute shocks. The CRO is expected to be a vital part of Louisville's partnership with 100 Resilient Cities.
The Chief Equity Officer is tasked with leading the city's attempt to improve racial equity within Louisville Metro's policies and practices. City leaders state that equity is a key component of resilience and the two officers would work closely together.
"Our city has been experiencing exceptional growth over the past seven years — $9 billion in investments, and tens of thousands of new jobs. But we have to make sure we're growing the right way," Mayor Fischer said. "Under Eric and Kellie, our resilience and equity efforts will collaborate — because we know our most vulnerable citizens are often the hardest hit by crises. Together, they will move forward to strengthen and better prepare our city for the big challenges of today and tomorrow."
Friedlander previously served as director of the city's Department of Community Services as well as deputy secretary of the state Cabinet for Health & Family Services.
"My career has been focused on health and human services," Friedlander said. "The people who are often the first to be hurt in catastrophes big or small, sudden or slow-moving, are often the people who have the least resources. Cities must plan for how to respond to the shocks and stresses found at the intersection of race, poverty, the environment and the economy. I am excited to begin the process of creating Louisville's Resilience Strategy."
Friedlander is expected to focus on environmental challenges, sustainability issues, and social and economic challenges that city leaders say hinder the city.
Watson previously served as city's Human Resources Director and the Director of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission.
"Louisville Metro reaches citizens in countless ways every single day, and it's important that we're always mindful of racial equity as we go about our work," Watson said. "Mayor Fischer's goal of ensuring our city is a platform for helping citizens reach their full potential can only be achieved through working toward greater racial equity."
Watson's assignment focuses on ensuring that policies and practices throughout Louisville Metro Government align with Mayor Fischer's goal of improving racial equity in the city. The Department of Human Resources and the Human Relations Commission will report to Watson.
Mayor Fischer today also announced that Jeff Mosley will be the city's new general counsel, and Gena Redmon will become Director of the city's Department of Resilience and Community Services.